If you are facing a situation and have been advised to hire or consult an attorney, you may not necessarily know what kind of attorney you need. We have compiled a list of the different types of legal practices that exist with descriptions to help you. After you have figured out which type of attorney you need, consider going to our Online Member Portal to search through our membership to find an attorney who handles your type of case.
If you are facing an issue involving Medicare/Medicaid, military, police misconduct, school or education, unemployment, or civil rights, consider consulting with an attorney who is well-versed in these types of administrative/government areas.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Administrative/Government - Immigration/Naturalization, Medicare/Medicaid, Military, School/Education, Social Security/Disability, Unemployment
If you are in a dispute that has taken place over a public body of water, such as interactions between ships, a ship captain’s obligation to the crew and passengers, rights of crew members, etc., then you may consider an attorney who specialized in admiralty or maritime law. If you were injured offshore or were involved in a dispute while offshore, an admiralty or maritime lawyer may be able to represent you or offer guidance.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Admiralty & Maritime – Offshore Injury, Transactional/Contracts; Oil & Gas / Mineral
Arbitration / Mediation
When you and another party have a dispute to settle but you don’t want to go to court, you may consider hiring a professional third-party to help you come to an agreement. In this case, a professional mediator can help you settle an agreement with someone without going to court; they will listen to the evidence and help each party understand the other and negotiate an agreement or settlement.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Alternative Dispute Resolution – Arbitration/Mediation
If you are considering declaring bankruptcy for either yourself or your business, you can consult with a bankruptcy attorney who can advise you on the types of bankruptcy to consider and which type might be best for your situation. They are also familiar with current laws regarding bankruptcy.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Bankruptcy – Business / Personal
Civil Litigation Lawyer
If you have filed a lawsuit against someone or if someone is suing you, an attorney who specializes in civil litigation can help you.
When drawing up a contract or if you believe a contract is not being followed, consider hiring a contract lawyer. They will be able to handle issues that arise when dealing with contract. Whether you are unsure if you should sign a contract, something is not being followed on a contract you signed, an attorney who specializes in contracts can help you resolve these issues.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, a criminal lawyer will be knowledgeable in areas of criminal law, such as drug charges, DUI/OWI, felonies, misdemeanors, arraignment, arrests, pleas, and any other issues related to the crime in question.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Criminal Defense – Drug Charges, DUI/OWI, Felonies, Juvenile, Misdemeanors
Estate Planning Lawyer
An estate planning lawyer can help you with matters of your estate, like drawing up a will to pass on your assets upon your death or setting up trust funds for your loved ones. This also includes successions and probate.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Estate Law – Trusts, Wills
A lawyer who works in family law is typically the best type of lawyer to go to when facing matters like divorce or custody. They can guide you through the process of filing for divorce or drawing up a prenuptial agreement or navigating through the separation of community property, and when it comes to children, help with filing for custody or visitation or child support. Other areas they may be able to help you with include establishing paternity, name changes, restraining orders, spousal abuse, and spousal support.
The Lafayette Bar Foundation offers programs to help in situations pertaining to family law matters. Click here to view all of the programs offered, which include an ask-a-lawyer program, a protective order program for survivors of domestic violence, obtaining birth certificates, etc.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Family Law – Adoption, Community Property, Custody/Visitation/Child Support, Divorce, Interdiction, Name Change, Restraining Order/Spousal Abuse, Spousal Support
General Practice Lawyer
There are attorneys who specialize in a wide range of area who consider their practice to be general practice. If you have trouble deciding if your situation or matter falls into a specific category, you can seek out a general practice attorney who may be able to help.
If you are dealing with issues related to immigration, you should consult with an immigration lawyer. They can help you with issues such as visas, citizenship, refugee status, asylum or green cards.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Administrative/Government – Immigration/Naturalization
Intellectual Property Lawyer
Intellectual property includes copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design or trade secrets. If you are facing a situation where you would like to protect an idea, invention, design, or someone is trying to steal your idea, invention or design, you should consider consulting with an attorney who is well-versed in intellectual property laws.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Intellectual Property – Copyrights/Patents/Trademarks
Labor / Employment Lawyer
If you are an employee who is having a problem with the company you work for, or if you are a company facing a problem with an employee, a labor or employment lawyer can help you navigate the legal issues which may arise from an employment contract or relationship. This can include discrimination, employment contracts, insurance benefits, sexual harassment in the workplace, wage/commission claims, or wrongful termination.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Labor & Employment – Discrimination, Employment Contracts, Insurance Benefits, Sexual Harassment, Wage/Commission Claims, Wrongful Discharge
Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you are facing the consequences of a medical procedure, including a misdiagnosis or treatment, consider consulting a medical malpractice lawyer.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Personal Injury – Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident, such as a car accident, you will want to consult a personal injury attorney who can assist you with obtaining compensation for the damage or injuries suffered in the accident. This also includes defamation of character (if someone is slandering against you), false arrest, an industrial accident, lemon law (automobile purchase), professional malpractice, railroad accidents, workers compensation, slip and fall, or wrongful death.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Personal Injury – Auto Accidents, Defamation, False Arrest, Industrial Accidents, Lemon Law, Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability/ Slip and Fall, Products Liability, Professional Malpractice, Railroad Accidents, Workers Compensation, Wrongful Death, Police Misconduct, Civil Rights
Real Estate lawyers assist with any legal issues related to real estate and property. Like business lawyers, real estate lawyers are distinguished between transactional, such as purchasing a home, vs. litigation, issues with a buyer, landlord or tenant. If you are experiencing issues with your landlord or tenant, looking to purchase a title to a home, or experiencing a breach of contract for property, consider consulting with a real estate attorney.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Real Estate
Social Security Disability Lawyer
When attempting to navigate the Social Security Disability system, consider consulting with an attorney who is familiar with the system. They can then help with eligibility issues, launching an appeal of a decision to deny you benefits and dealing with the reduction or termination of your benefits.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Administrative Government – Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security / Disability
When it comes to the IRS and taxes, consider having an attorney who specialized in taxes to guide you through the legalities of federal, state and local tax laws.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Taxation
Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve been injured while on the job, or have had to face the death of a loved one as a result of a workplace accident or occupational disease, a lawyer who specializes in workers compensation law can help you navigate the issues you face, such as the extent of the employer’s fault and the amount of benefits to which you are entitled.
Helpful categories to view on the Lafayette Bar Online Membership Directory: Personal Injury – Workers Compensation